Well l survived July Braai by Wednesday when we got back people were already pulling in people were pretty much ensconced by Thursday night so the gate will need to be manned from earlier next year. The official braai runs fri/sat/sun most people going home sunday but this time a large amount stayed.
I much preferred Beechwood as a venue, lots more trees and separate areas, noisy party field, quieter mid field and silence end or POTS field. There were a few problems. One was the water the showers were on the incoming water main section and siphoned it all the rest of the camp got a trickle so the camp owner is putting in a new water main. The new shower and toilet block, half built will be online and from what l understand new power points in the main field. We need to have parking organised better as well and the usual organisational items that appeared as “oh if we did/have…” One idea for next year we are going to have those grabbers for litter. If not l am on strike.
We had a few small scale sellers of clothes, food and DVD’s and some lovely artwork for auction all of which went down well they are all regular club members. Friday and Saturday there was a pig roast to provide a nice hot snack which proved very popular.
There was up to 1500 people there did not sure how many and the place was packed with tents and caravans. Next year l am not moving from my planned spot. We were asked to move sideways to a different part of the area we were in and ended up being very cramped in our section next year l am parking by the road and planting the wheels so deep into the ground we won’t shift without a pull that should sort things.
I only made it to POTS once it was too far to hop but when l saw it on the Friday it looked ok space wise. I had crutched down to do gate duty but when l got there it was fully manned on the gate so l went back and did bar ticket sales.
The bar was the best yet in layout. We had one marquee which was the bar, with a nicely constructed bar as opposed to the “bodge jobs” that have served for the last 20 years, then 3 new large marquees joined on with a stage in the middle section at the back, so a very big area under cover and it made a hell of a difference.
Due to my ankle and crutches every time l stood up to do everything l was met with a barrage of and what do you think you are doing??? SIT. So as l felt guilty not doing enough l did 2 ticket selling stints for bar drinks about 13hours each. I also got up very early cleaned the marquee and bar and restocked fridges. By the time anyone arrived and had a go at me l had at least done something constructive.
The bar sold out of beer and spirits on Friday and Saturday nights and needed total restock, the total was 26 barrels of beer and god knows how much spirit.
There was a small memorial service on Sunday afternoon a new idea and organised by one of the club members. The idea was just a quiet good bye to those who have passed on. Pretty much everyone who was left at the camp attended.
Neil from Msasa Video piped the service in. A few words were said, names of those who were being remembered read out and we all had our quiet memories of all mentioned or not who have passed over the years, it ended with a reading of ”At the going down of the sun…” while Neil piped it out quietly as he moved away. A very moving ceremony, many a silent tear was shed.
I hope that it becomes a yearly event and people can bring pictures of those who they want to remember and pin them on the board. Even if names are not mentioned it is just a lovely memorial and quiet unwind time.
We were very lucky with the weather we had mixed on Thursday but sun on Friday and Saturday, Sunday was mixed, Monday take down day was very wet but at least it was not during the event. As we were about 20 miles from the parachute centre and the weather passed over us l was an outlying weather station for the parachute club.
Our camper hemmed in on all sides
The main party field early in the morning
Selling Dry Goods
Chill time during the day in the marquees sales tables and a music session
The bar and marquees at night
The last bits of the bar being taken down